<p>L.A. Reid, Justin Bieber and Scooter Braun of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

L.A. Reid, Justin Bieber and Scooter Braun of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - Judges' Homes #2

Justin Bieber and Will.i.Am join L.A. Reid and Britney Spears

On Wednesday, "X Factor" fans got to watch the Young Adults perform for Demi Lovato and the Groups perform for Simon Cowell.

Now, it's time for Britney Spears mentoring the Teens and the awkward spectacle of L.A. Reid grumbling that he was forced to mentor the Geriatric contestants and punishing them by making them learn from Justin Bieber. 

Click through for the pre-debate fun...

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<p>Jay Ryan of &quot;Beauty and the Beast&quot;</p>

Jay Ryan of "Beauty and the Beast"

Credit: The CW

TV Review: The CW's 'Beauty and the Beast' fails on every level

HitFix
F
Readers
B
A pretty beast, a silly cop and some bad writing lead to disaster
There's an easy punchline that a hundred [or more] lazy screenwriters have probably used in movies or TV shows. 
 
A character happens upon somebody who was previously assumed to be deceased. The character nods and quips, "You look pretty good for a dead guy."
 
It's a universally applicable joke, because... not to put too fine a point on it... dead guys generally look pretty horrible. They're all rotted and stuff. So it doesn't matter who you are or how you look, if you're about to breath and receive nourishment, chances are solid that you also look pretty good for a dead guy.
 
The cliche pops up in the pilot for The CW's new adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast," one of many cliches in a script that seems to be cobbled together from nothing but dribs and drabs of earlier shows. In its "Beauty and the Beast" context, however, the line is elevated (denigrated?) from sloppy mimicry into a flawless illustration of the pilot's insurmountable core flaw.
 
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<p>Denise and Malcolm of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Denise and Malcolm of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' - 'Create a Little Chaos'

Would a different tribe finally get to sit down with Jeff at Tribal Council?
Pre-credit sequence. The steadily dwindling Team Russell returns to camp, Angie-free. Why bother? It's cold. It's raining. And there's no Angie to cuddle with for warmth. Malcolm certainly looks miserable. His eyes are dull and sunken. He misses Angie, even if he won't say it. They have no fire. They have no Angie. And nobody's saying a word. This is "Survivor" being arty, isn't it? We're gonna play out the opening sequence without dialogue? That'd be fun. Bah. Finally, they break the silence. Malcolm wants to know what else the fates can pile on. "Everyone's scared and everyone's a little bit nervous, but one win is all it's gonna take to turn the mood around," Malcolm says. "With three, there's always one that's out," Denise says. But Malcolm is sure they can launch the greatest comeback. "Line it up. Let's go. And we'll let the chips fall where they may," Malcolm announces.
 
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<p>This apparently happens on Wednesday's &quot;X Factor&quot;</p>

This apparently happens on Wednesday's "X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - Boot Camp #3 and Judges' Homes #1

The judges pick the Top 24, choose sides and begin mentoring

Wednesday's (October 10) episode of "The X Factor" is a bit of a hodge-podge, as your local cable listings probably correctly note that it's half-Boot Camp and half-Judges' Homes.

I believe this means we're going to spend an hour cutting the field to 24 and then we're gonna hang out with L.A. Reid and Justin Bieber. 

Click through and let's get this live-blog started!

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<p>The aesthetically challenged cast of &quot;Chicago Fire&quot;</p>

The aesthetically challenged cast of "Chicago Fire"

Credit: NBC

Interview: 'Chicago Fire' creators Derek Haas and Michael Brandt talk serialization, 'Rescue Me' and more

'Wanted' writers explain why this isn't a fire-of-the-week drama
NBC's "Chicago Fire" is being promoted as the new drama from Dick Wolf, but the firefighter saga doesn't necessarily feel like what some viewers might expect from the "Law & Order" guru.
 
While there have certainly been exceptions, Wolf's more successful shows have pioneered a procedural structure in which strong actors have played frequently interchangeable characters, about whom audiences have learned very little. 
 
"Chicago Fire," at least in its early going, is more about the men and women of Firehouse 51 than their professional emergencies. The concentration is on the ensemble -- featuring Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Lauren German, Monica Raymund, Eamonn Walker, David Eigenberg and more -- rather than weekly infernos.
 
Much of that is certainly attributable to the approach taken by "Chicago Fire" creators Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, making their first foray onto the small screen in the midst of a feature career that includes the exceptional remake of "3:10 to Yuma" as well as the blockbuster adaptation of "Wanted."
 
I had a long chat with Haas and Brandt and, to be frank, I got a little myopic regarding the show's narrative approach and focused on that to the exception of a slew of other questions. So this interview goes into great depth on character-driven storytelling versus procedural storytelling, but maybe not as much depth on the rest of the series, which premieres on Wednesday night on NBC.
 
We also covered reshoots to the pilot, inevitable "Rescue Me" comparisons and... more about serialized, character-driven storytelling.
 
Check it out...
 
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<p>Amy and Daniel of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Amy and Daniel of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Amy & Daniel talk 'The Amazing Race'

What went wrong with the Indonesian cab?
Teams have made it all the way to the end of "The Amazing Race" only to have their million dollar prize yanked from their hands by less-than-intrepid cab drivers, so maybe we shouldn't feel too sorry for Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale.
 
After all, Amy & Daniel's "Amazing Race" run lasted all of two episodes.
 
In the season premiere, the competitive snowboarder (and double amputee) and her boyfriend (the executive director of an adaptive action sports organization) had the a big advantage heading to the Pit Stop, but opted to help a rival team find a clue, only to have that team catch and pass them in the home stretch. 
 
That act of altruism -- possibly misplaced in a race -- failed to yield any Race Karma, when Sunday's episode say Amy & Daniel take a disastrously ill-directed cab ride in Indonesia. As their driver repeatedly failed to find the location of the Detour, Amy & Daniel fell all the way from second to 10th and they were eliminated from the Race.
 
Yes, they lasted only two episodes, but it was hard not to feel sympathy for a pair that seemed strong, inspirational and generally good-natured. 
 
In this week's "Amazing Race" exit interview, Amy & Daniel discuss their doomed cab ride, including their attempts to correct their course. They also talk about the thought process behind assisting Abbie & Ryan in the opening Leg.
 
Click through for the full interview...
 
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Watch: Garret Dillahunt and Martha Plimpton talk 'Raising Hope'

Watch: Garret Dillahunt and Martha Plimpton talk 'Raising Hope'

Nakedness and playing a functional TV couple are discussed
Before last week's "Raising Hope" premiere, I posted my interviews with Lucas Neff and Shannon Woodward, which both offered terrific insights into the charms of one of TV's most underrated (and, sadly, underwatched) sitcoms. 
 
For more insight into the loopy appeal of "Raising Hope," check out my conversation with Garret Dillahunt and Martha Plimpton.
 
I wasn't buttering the actors up when I started the interview by calling Burt and Virginia one of my favorite TV couples. They may not be Coach and Mrs. Coach, but when it comes to portraying a perfectly well-adjusted marriage in a sea of maladjustment, it doesn't get much better than the work turned in by Dillahunt and Plimpton.
 
In addition to discussing the secret to portraying a functional TV couple, the two actors discuss the joys of on-camera humiliation (and nakedness), as well as the pleasures of the "Raising Hope" ensemble cast. 
 
Check it out...
 
"Raising Hope" airs at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays on FOX.
Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 153

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 153

Dan and Alan talk 'Arrow,' 'Beauty and the Beast,' 'Walking Dead' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls.
 
Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor Columbus Day can stop The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
We have oodles to talk about, including reviews of "Arrow," "Beauty and the Beast," "Chicago Fire" and "Nashville," plus new seasons of "The Walking Dead" and a pair of FX comedies. We also talked about "Homeland," which we aren't guaranteeing will be a weekly thing, but for now... Sure.
 
Next week, it's possible we may end up doing a Tuesday podcast do to the sheer quantity of stuff that needs watching, plus a bit of travel on my part. 
 
But here's today's breakdown:
"Arrow" (00:01:10 - 00:15:00)
"Chicago Fire" (00:15:00 - 00:27:00)
"Nashville" (00:27:05 - 00:39:40)
"Beauty and the Beast" (00:39:45 - 47:40)
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (00:47:45 - 00:52:45)
"The League" (00:53:00 - 00:56:45)
"The Walking Dead" (00:56:50 - 01:07:00)
"Homeland" (01:07:45 - 01:20:45)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

<p>Natalie and Nadiya of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Natalie and Nadiya of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Long Hair Don't Care'

Indonesian cabdrivers produce a lot of drama
I guess Sunday (October 7) night's installment of "The Amazing Race" was meant to teach us all an unpleasant truth about overcoming adversity, right? And an unpleasant truth about what happens when you put your fate in the hands of strangers, right?
 
I'm trying to think of what else, if anything, I learned from the episode, which was pointlessly mis-titled "Long Hair, Don't Care." But this is all I've got: You can be as heroic as you want, proving yourself a deserving inspiration to thousands or millions, but in a race for a million dollars, sometimes all of the individual achievement in the world ceases to be relevant in the face of the outside forces of ineptitude. 
 
Sigh.
 
More after the break...
 
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Watch: Kevin Michael Richardson teases 'The Cleveland Show'

Watch: Kevin Michael Richardson teases 'The Cleveland Show'

Which voice is the hardest for the animation veteran?
One of the best ways to fill spaces in an article about Kevin Michael Richardson would be to list the myriad animated programs and features he's lent his distinctive and versatile voice to.
 
You've heard Richardson on "Batman: The Brave and the Bold," "ThunderCats," "Transformers: Prime," "American Dad," "The Boondocks," "Lilo & Stitch: The Series," "Teen Titans," "Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!," "The Fairly OddParents," "Clerks: The Animated Series," "The PJs," "The Simpsons" and, honestly, too many shows to list.
 
"The Cleveland Show" returns to start its fourth season on Sunday, October 7, giving viewers plenty of opportunities to hear Richardson, who voices Cleveland Jr. and basically any random voices the producers need covered.
 
In this interview, Richardson teases the upcoming season of "The Cleveland Show" and discusses which of his endless reservoir of voices causes him the most difficulty. 
 
Check it out!